Builders in at Downham Market heritage cetnre

Building work begins on the Old Fire Station at Downham Market, with Steven Seals Builders Ltd.'LtoR, Dean Woodward, Todd Cocksedge, Steven Osler, Dan Woollard. ANL-150323-174226009

Building work begins on the Old Fire Station at Downham Market, with Steven Seals Builders Ltd.'LtoR, Dean Woodward, Todd Cocksedge, Steven Osler, Dan Woollard. ANL-150323-174226009

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Dreams of turning Downham’s old fire station into a heritage centre have moved a step closer after builders moved on site.

Construction work on the 
Priory Road building began this week and is expected to take about six months to complete.

The centre is then expected to open its doors to the public next spring, once interior work has been completed.

The start of building work comes nine years after the idea of transforming the former station int a community heritage centre was first put forward.

Trustee Christine Austin said yesterday: “It’s amazing. It’s been such a long time and there were moments when we thought were we ever going to make it.

“We’re just so relieved to see the builders in there. They’ve made a really excellent start.”

Workers from locally-based firm Steven Seals Builders moved on to the site on Monday and hope to complete their work by the 
autumn.

And the trustees have already begun work on the facilities and displays which will be available when the centre is opened to the public.

About £650,000 has been raised to fund the project, including almost £450,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

And, as the building work continues, residents will have the chance to see the progress of the project for themselves at two hard hat days, which are provisionally scheduled to take place in late May, during the Downham Festival, and September.

Volunteers will also be sought at both events to help with the running of the new centre.

The trustees are also working with schools and other community groups to develop the project.

Mrs Austin said: “We’re trying to get lots of different people involved, not just the schools.

“We need to know what they want so we can build it into the project.”